The Replacement – Jason Pellegrini


Published January 2015

After a violent altercation with an infamous New York City drug lord, Patrick Sullivan believed his career in law enforcement was over. Yet, not even a year after his resignation, he finds himself back on the job. This time, a detective in the homicide unit.

While battling the ghosts of his past, Patrick and his new partner, veteran detective Jonathan Hawkins, find themselves chasing a killer who is constantly one step ahead of them.

As the body count increases and no substantial leads are discovered, tension between the two cops threatens to boil over. They attempt to coexist as they hunt down a sadistic serial killer who does more than just take his victims’ lives.

My thoughts

This is the first crime novel by Jason Pellegrini and it is really rather good.

‘The Replacement’ is the story of a hunt for a serial killer called the ‘Surgeon’. Patrick Sullivan moves from New York to Nassau County Police Department, after some rather traumatic events. He is to be the replacement detective, as Jonathan Hawkins is about to retire. Patrick goes from his training to a crime scene out of his nightmares. The two officers Hawkins and Patrick are soon on the hunt for a serial killer with some nasty tricks up his sleeve.

The highlight for me was Patrick and his ambiguous sense of morality. I like a cop who is not afraid to take the law into his own hands. I enjoyed the tension between Hawkins and Patrick, as they sought to make sense of the crimes and to establish a working relationship. Patrick’s nightmares and delusions were fascinating, and increasingly they made more sense. He seemed to be going through PTSD and had not come to terms with any of the violence or death he had encountered in his career. The crime scenes were lovely in a gory ‘Hannibal’ kind of way.

The weaker part of the story came from Patrick’s wife. I thought Patrick’s wife was a little too nice and understanding. A little too perfect. She must be the only police officer’s wife never to complain about the unsocial hours or appear concerned about the effect of terrible crime scenes on an unstable man. And Patrick clearly seemed to me to have issues that could not entirely be hidden from his spouse.

This is a promising debut and a very readable serial killer drama.

 Thanks to the author for being kind enough to send me a review copy!


About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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One Response to The Replacement – Jason Pellegrini

  1. FictionFan says:

    It’s always good when a debut is so promising – the first book in a series is always hard, since so much character development has to be crammed in.

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